Social Media Essay

Topics: Activism, Protest, Sociology Pages: 4 (776 words) Published: February 22, 2015
Kate Oliver
Art and Craft of Writing
Professor Fleischner
2/15/15
The Power of Social Media

In his article, “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted.”, Malcolm Gladwell illustrates why social media is not an effective tool in organizing social or political activism. Throughout the essay, Gladwell describes multiple examples of protests and how much more they were effective without social media. The protests leaned towards being stronger, more organized, and the people participating in them were more invested and had stronger bond to them. He begins his article with a story about the Greensboro sit-ins, and how the protests started with a group of four college students and accumulated to around seventy thousand students all across the South. Gladwell strongly emphasized that the sit-ins took place “without e-mail, texting, Facebook, or Twitter”. He then moves on to explain other historic examples of activism, and determines that the “weak ties” related to social media “seldom lead to high risk activism”. Gladwell examines how social media creates a large network based upon unity instead of a hierarchy, and argues that a handful of activist movements have not been successful when lacking a central authority and hierarchy.

My personal view is that I disagree with the viewpoints of Gladwell. I believe that through the innovation of technology, amazing things can happen. Social media is an incredible tool to make a change, support a cause and raise awareness. For example, over the summer there was a fundraiser for ALS. ALS is a terrible disease that affects people’s motor functions. The challenge involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting that video to social media, then nominating others to do the same, all in an effort to raise ALS awareness.  People can either accept the challenge or make a donation to an ALS Charity of their choice, or do both. Just like that, with the click of a few buttons, awareness is...
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